In eight Dutch provinces, so many people have tested positive that they have reached the highest alert level on the map of coronavirus cases in Europe. They turn from red to dark red. These are Limburg, Gelderland, Overijssel, Zeeland, Utrecht, South Holland, Frisia and Flevoland.
Only Noord-Holland, Noord-Brabant, Drenthe and Groningen remain red. The first three are set to turn dark red next week.
This is the first time since the end of July that parts of the Netherlands are at the highest level. At the beginning of October, the Netherlands was completely orange, the second lowest level.
The European health service ECDC, to which the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) belongs, draws up the map. The service examines the number and percentage of positive tests in the previous two calendar weeks. The European coronavirus map has four colors. From low to high, they are green, orange, red and dark red.
Limburg is the provinces’ largest coronavirus hotspot. During the last two weeks, 882 people out of 100,000 have tested positive there, or 1 inhabitant of Limbourg in 113. Next come Gelderland (rounded off to 694 positive tests per 100,000), Zeeland (661), Overijssel (648), Utrecht (586), Flevoland (583), Zuid-Holland (573), Friesland (550), Noord- Holland (447), Noord-Brabant (428), Drenthe (4170 and Groningen (310).
Countries use the card to decide whether to tighten the rules for travelers from other countries. For example, Germany could choose to designate the Netherlands as “Hochrisikogebiet” or “high risk area”. If this happens, people who have traveled to the Netherlands must report their arrival to the German government online before their departure. They must also show that they are vaccinated against the coronavirus, recently tested negative, or have just recovered from an infection.
The number of positive tests is also increasing in other countries, and therefore their alert level. Flanders and the German Länder of Thuringia and Saxony have changed from red to dark red. Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania remained at the highest level. And the levels have also increased in countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Sweden and Ireland. The situation is currently the most favorable in Italy, France and Portugal.